Burlington Harrassment Defense Lawyers

Mt. Laurel NJ Harassment Attorneys

Conduct that falls short of violence but can nevertheless result in a criminal charge is harassment. This criminal offense is contained at N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4 and is one of the more common charges in Mansfield, Bordentown, Riverside and other municipal courts in Burlington. The problem with a conviction for harassment is that it results in your having a criminal record and can even land you in state prison. Ramifications like this are thankfully often avoided altogether by the lawyers at our Mt. Laurel criminal firm. Our staff of skilled attorneys and former prosecutors achieve dismissal of harassment charges in most instances. To discuss your case with an experienced lawyer at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, call us for a free consultation at 856-234-8900.

Harassment Offense in Burlington County

Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4, an individual may be charged with harassment if he/she engages in either harassing communications or conduct. In either case, a violation cannot arise unless you had a purpose to harass the recipient. Assuming the prosecutor can show that you intended to harass the victim, you can be convicted if your actions fall within any of the following three categories:

  1. Harassing Communications. Communications can constitute harassment under 2C:33-4(a) if they are made anonymously, at extremely inconvenient hours, using offensively course language, or made in any other manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm. In determining whether a communication falls within any of these descriptions, the judge must consider all of the circumstances surrounding the incident, including the prior history between the parties.
  2. Offensive Touching. You might be confused as to why offensive touching can constitute harassment as opposed to simple assault. The distinction between the two stems from the fact that this violation results from “offensive” contact rather than “bodily injury”.  When an individual engages in offensive touching that falls short of causing bodily injury, that is harassment.
  3. Alarming Conduct. The third way harassment arises is when someone engages in a course of alarming conduct under N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4(c). The purpose of this variety of harassment is to capture conduct that, while not falling under (1) or (2) above, nevertheless needs to be deterred because of its alarming nature. It should be noted that this violation is not talking about conduct that is merely irritating as the actions must cause serious annoyance. A determination as to whether this section of the statute is violated is, not surprisingly, extremely fact sensitive.

Penalties for Harassment in Medford NJ or Another Town in Burlington

Harassment can come in the form of a fourth degree crime, a felony, or as a disorderly persons offense. Fourth degree harassment applies where the violation is committed by someone who is on parole or on probation for an indictable crime (i.e. first, second, third or fourth degree crime). All harassment offenses falling in this grade are handled by the Superior Court in Mt. Holly. You can be sentenced to up to 18 months in state prison and fined up to $10,000 if you are convicted of harassment in the fourth degree. All other 2C:33-4 charges are disorderly persons offenses that fall within the jurisdiction of a municipal court like the one in Pemberton, Tabernacle, Willingboro, or Delran. The penalties for a disorderly persons offense of harassment include up to 6 months in jail, a $1,000 fine, probation, community service, and possible entry of a no contact order. If the offense is committed in the context of a domestic relationship, it may also constitute a predicate act of domestic violence for purposes of issuance of a temporary restraining order.

Florence Harassment Offense Lawyer

Being found guilty of harassing someone can have both direct and indirect consequences. The direct consequences involve all those penalties just described. The indirect impact of a conviction include your having a record that will follow you around for years to come whenever you apply for a job or other endeavor involving a background check. The flip side is that this impediment is probably totally unnecessary in view of the fact that our attorneys are successful in avoiding conviction in Florence Municipal Court and others in more cases than not. So call us today at 856-234-8900 to speak to an experienced criminal lawyer in our Mt. Laurel Office.